Saturday, January 5, 2013

Walnut Balls

I've been collecting metal cookie and chocolate boxes for a couple of years. It all started while I was managing a pâtisserie in Istanbul. How I ended up in that wonderful shop deserves more than a few lines here so I will keep aside that story for another post. Anyways, keeping an eye on the stock and making lists of things to purchase was one of my favourite jobs to do there. I would walk around to see if we had run out of anything of vital importance for baking pastries, for example, vanilla powder or baking powder. The orders were always in big amounts, of course, and whenever we ran out of vanilla powder, it would turn into a tense moment between me and the cake chef. He also liked those dark blue metal boxes of vanilla powder which made us keen rivals over them. He was in a way priviledged to keep the boxes for himself, he was the chef after all. However, I would always find a way to fetch one for me every other purchase time. It still makes me smile thinking back on those happy fights to the smell of baking croissants and other  pastries.  

A week ago, I found the heart-shaped chocolate box in the photo below at a supermarket here in Sarajevo. I bought it at once hoping to find the chocolate inside as pleasant as the packaging. It was just ordinary, nothing special. I felt so disappointed by the flavour of the chocolates inside that I decided to fill the box with something that might look as attractive as the painting on the lid itself. So, here it comes: walnut balls. As usual, I used basic ingredients that you might find in your own kitchen such as regular petite beurres, walnuts, butter or cinnamon.

100 grams walnut pieces
100 grams petite beurres
100 grams powdered sugar
75 grams butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons raisins, chopped
3 tablespoons powdered chocolate

orange juice and walnut pieces for rolling

1. Place walnuts and petite beurres in food processor. 
2. Process them until very soft and crumbly. 
3. Add butter, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, powdered chocolate and orange juice. 
4. Process until well combined and dough gets a slightly wet consistency. *
5. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in raisins. Form into ball shape. Dip balls in orange juice and then roll them in walnut pieces.

* If dough seems slightly too dry add 1 tsp. of orange juice at a time to desired consistency.


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